AI is not a community management strategy because it’s skipping the hard part of community management: deciding what’s allowed and what’s not. You can’t skip the definition step in community management because that’s literally the very first thing you have to do. You can’t just give a pile of bad stuff to the computer and say “you figure it out.” That’s just outsourcing your responsibility.
After an intense night of thrash, including a lively #RestoreTheBlock hashtag, Twitter reverted the change. Now, then. What have we learned? And what can other companies with large communities take away from this teachable moment?
I’m not saying that Twitter was designed to create arguments. I’m just saying that, if you set out to create an Argument Machine, it’d come out looking a lot like Twitter.
I’d like you to hold two slightly contradictory thoughts in your head at once for a few minutes. They are: 1. One of the best things you can do for a new community is seed it with good stuff. And: 2. One of the worst things you can do to your community is lie.
I got my first email address in 1991. I was a freshman at UC Santa Cruz and a friend took me to a basement geek office where you had to fill out a paper form to get your free ucsc.edu email account. In the box labeled “User-name” I started to write “Derek.” My friend stopped me. “Nobody uses their real name.” He said it like he was talking to a child.
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